Book Description: It's a cold, snowy December in the upstate New York town of Millers Kill, and newly ordained Clare Fergusson is on thin ice as the first female priest of its small Episcopal church. The ancient regime running the parish covertly demands that she prove herself as a leader. However, her blunt manner, honed by years as an army pilot, is meeting with a chilly reception from some members of her congregation and Chief of Police Russ Van Alystyne, in particular, doesn't know what to make of her, or how to address "a lady priest" for that matter.
I enjoyed this novel and plan to read more in the series.
Purchased. Minotaur Books
Mystery. Reprint 2012. Print length: 308 pages.
Chambers of Death by Priscilla Royal
I've enjoyed all of the previous books in this series, so when I was having a difficult time finding books I wanted from NetGalley, it was time to return to another medieval mystery.
Book Description: When one of her company falls ill on a return journey to Tyndal, Prioress Eleanor accepts lodging at a nearby manor. The hospitality may be warm but the underlying passions among the steward's family are scorching. Master Stevyn's wife is having an affair with the groom while a local widow acts more like the lady of the manor than the lady herself. Stevyn's eldest son and spouse are obsessed with sin and heaven, while his youngest son, bound for the Church, unexpectedly returns with more interest in lute playing than the priesthood.
Murder, of course, can be expected. The problem is that I didn't much care for this sixth book in the series. Any series can vary in quality, but I'm not sure if that was the reason I didn't like it as much or if I'm growing a bit tired of the tension between Eleanor and her favorite monk.
Purchased. Poisoned Pen Press
Medieval Mystery. 2009, 2011. Print length: 261 pages.
Valley of Dry Bones by Priscilla Royal
Book Description: In the late summer of 1274, King Edward has finally been anointed England’s ruler, and his queen contemplates a pilgrimage in gratitude for their safe return from Outremer, a journey that will include a stay at Tyndal Priory.
I liked this one better than Chamber's of Death, but still wonder if by the 7th book, my interest in the characters is waning. Maybe it is time for Ralf to have a story entirely to himself. Or Sister Ann. Or for the plots to have less to do with Eleanor's troubling attraction to Thomas.
I still love the history included in the books, especially Royal's Author's Notes and Bibliographic source material.
Purchased. Poisoned Pen Press
Medieval Mystery. 2011. Print length: 245 pages.
The Murder at Sissingham Hall by Clara Benson
Book description: On his return from South Africa, Charles Knox is invited to spend the weekend at the country home of Sir Neville Strickland, whose beautiful wife Rosamund was once Knox's fiancee. But in the dead of night Sir Neville is murdered. Who did it? As suspicion falls on each of the house guests in turn, Knox finds himself faced with deception and betrayal on all sides, and only the enigmatic Angela Marchmont seems to offer a solution to the mystery. This 1920s whodunit will delight all fans of traditional country house murder stories.
Clara Benson wrote during the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, but none of her books were published until after her death. She wrote for her own enjoyment and for her friends; I wonder how famous she would have become had she been published during her life time. At any rate, I love this genre and enjoyed the novel.
Mystery. 2013. Print length: 262 pages.
Bad choice of cover. The book is a light read about a data miner named Jason, his psychic friend Sylvie, and his new client, a vampire. But the novel is more science fiction than a typical vampire story.
Some interesting ideas, but not terribly satisfying.
Read in Oct.
Science Fiction. Dec. 2, 2014. print length: 544 pages.